After stomping their way through to Coventry’s Metal 2 the Masses final earlier in the year, WAVE are now set to release their forthcoming EP Jurassic Parkour (review to follow soon). I wanted to find out more about this noise rock duo who are taking the Midlands by storm! So I threw our Band of the Day questions at one half of the band, Dave Musson (guitar/vocals) to see what he had to say….
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re sort of from Birmingham – when we first started playing we were much more of a Birmingham band but now I live near Coventry, hence the “sort of” bit!
How did you meet?
We’ve actually known each other for almost seven years now, but the way we met was more than a little random. Back in 2010, I was looking for a drummer for a different project – a proggy, alternative type thing influenced by Tool, A Perfect Circle and Radiohead – so posted a ‘drummer wanted’ ad on the staff notice board on Solihull Council’s intranet, where I was working at that time. Someone came back to me recommending Will and we went from there. However, the reason it’s so random is that, to this day, we have no idea who that person was. I thought it was someone who knew Will’s dad – it wasn’t – while Will thought it was someone closer to our age who had done a bit of contractor work for the Council – but that wasn’t it either. Clearly, it was just meant to be!
Anyway, we jammed the groggy project for a few months before a massive snowfall made us miss practice one week…and we never got round to booking another one. Still, we stayed in touch, and when I was in Crimson Star between 2013 and 2015, I got Will to do various bits of video work for us, while he also carried on drumming for a host of bands, including Absolution – who he played with until very recently.
When I left Crimson Star, I quickly decided I wanted to form a noisy, punky duo and had one drummer’s name on my list. Sadly, Dave Grohl was busy so I called Will instead. At the time, Will had just moved to Oxford for a year to study, but we didn’t let that stop us.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We had our first practice as WAVE in October 2015 – in four hours we wrote four songs from scratch and realised pretty quickly that we could make this thing work. By Christmas we’d squeezed in three more jams and had a collection of ten original songs plus a few covers.
We played our first gig – Will’s sister’s wedding reception – in January 2016, a mixture of covers and original material to a largely baffled room of Will’s relatives, before playing our first ‘proper’ gig a month later at the Asylum in Birmingham.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Quite simple really…it’s just our names – Will and Dave – merged to give WAVE. We always try and make sure Will is on the left in any photos, otherwise it would be a photo of DILL and that’s a totally different band!
What are your influences?
Dave loves The Chariot, Nirvana, Every Time I Die, Palm Reader and the Dillinger Escape Plan while for Will it’s Slayer, Trivium, Disturbed, Slipknot and Sevendust. We also both love Pantera because, well, how can you NOT love Pantera?
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Well, there’s only the two of us and, unlike most popular duos from recent years, we’re actually good. We’re not boring hipsters like Royal Blood, our music is much harder and more complex than the White Stripes and we’re not shit like Twenty One Pilots and Slaves.
We also don’t keep ourselves into one defined box when it comes to genre; some of our songs are quite punk, some have elements of hardcore, one is almost pop punk and another is quite grungy. But, having said that, the last two songs we’ve written have been straight up metal. Essentially, you never quite know what you’re going to get from us.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
A lot of our lyrics tend to first be born as melodies and syllable patterns which usually sparks one line, followed by another and another until we have a song, so the theme will often depend on that first line. However, we do have a couple of songs that actually tell a story: “Clifton” is the real-life tale of the man who dug JFK’s grave, “Florian” is a story about a fictional rock star’s rise and fall, while “Douglas” is about a sinister chap who pushes people under trains.
We also have a song that is about someone I have the misfortune of having to encounter at work sometimes and who is a pathetic, nasty, bullying little arsehole. Whilst on our upcoming EP we have a ukulele song written about the horrible child who I used to live next door to, on whom I often wanted to use a chainsaw.
Oh yes, we should probably explain about how we come up with titles for our songs – when we first started WAVE, we Googled “How to be a band”. Ignoring the part about needing a bassist, we found out that you have to give your songs names, so that’s what we did.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Without wanting to sound like every band who ever gets asked this question, WAVE shows are energetic, fun and funny. We’ll jam parts, we’ll get high fives from the crowd, Will occasionally gets to play a drum solo and we will generally give you something more interesting to look at than your phone for the time we’re on stage.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
We’ve had a couple of gigs where we’ve actually practiced for them – that’s quite a novel approach for WAVE – and there a few times where we’ve met up on the afternoon of a gig, written a song from scratch and then played it that night. Also, last year we played on the Saturday of Easter Weekend so, while I was re-tuning my guitar, Will handed out Easter eggs to everyone in the crowd while wearing a shark hat, because he didn’t have any rabbit ears.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I use a G&L guitar, Orange and Ashdown amps and a load of cheap Behringer pedals that make the guitar sound gnarly. Will uses Sabian, Paiste and Stagg cymbals, a Tama snare and a Pearl kit and bass pedal.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
The big thing on the horizon is the release of our second EP – Jurassic Parkour – which will come out on Friday 9th June, and will be launched with our set at Dave’s World Live on Sunday 11 June at the Arches Venue in Coventry. We’ve also got videos (latest video for “PJ” below) planned for the songs on there, which we’ll drop out over the course of the next few weeks. Other than that, we just want to keep playing gigs – aside from a couple of gigs in Coventry and one in Leicester, we’ve only played in Birmingham so far, so it’d be great to spread our wings a bit and reach some new people.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We’ll have to answer this separately, as we quite often have different ideas on things like this.
I (Dave) would either like to grab deny all ROBOTS, get in a time machine and support Nirvana, or be direct support to Every Time I Die with Dead Hands opening (even though that would be a little rude, as Dead Hands are far better than WAVE).
For Will, he’d pick Wax Futures as openers and then either Foo Fighters or AxeWound, depending on how metal he was feeling that night.